Medford woman dies in car crash

A 49-year-old Medford woman died in an early morning crash in the 600 block of Sterling Creek Road in Jacksonville on Thursday, according to sheriff's deputies.

Deeanna Lee Ruddick was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency officials, said Jackson County sheriff's Sgt. Dace Cochran.

She was a passenger in a 1988 Toyota driven by her 17-year-old daughter. The sheriff's office withheld the girl's name Thursday night pending a review of the case today by the Jackson County District Attorney's Office, said Jackson County Undersheriff Rod Countryman.

"The initial statements made by the daughter were that they were headed to Applegate Lake," Cochran said. "We don't know what they were doing heading out there at 3 a.m."

The daughter was wearing her seat belt and was transported to the hospital and released. Ruddick was not driving because she lost her license after two felony DUII convictions since 2001, Cochran said.

Ruddick would have survived the crash but was not wearing a seat belt and struck the windshield, deputies determined.

"We respond to simple rollover crashes like this quite often where there are no injuries," Cochran said. "The seatbelt made all the difference in this case."

The car was travelling north when it left the road, crashing into an embankment, where it rolled over onto its passenger side, according to deputies.

Cochran said investigators haven't conducted calculations yet to determine if speed was a factor in the driver losing control. Deputies measured skid marks of about 83 feet, suggesting the girl tried to stop the car before it hit the embankment.

"The daughter told us she was traveling around 45 mph," Cochran said. "We have yet to determine the exact speed, but that doesn't sound unreasonable at this point."

He said the daughter would be tested for alcohol and drugs. The toxicology report could take two weeks to complete, Cochran said.

The crash scene will be reconstructed by investigators from the Ashland Police Department, the Medford Police Department and the Sheriff's Office.

Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 776-4471; or e-mail Reach reporter Damian Mann at 776-4476; or e-mail

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